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People Are Angry After Burberry Debuts Hoodie With Noose Around The Neck

Liz Kennedy/Instagram

Like everything else, the fashion industry is full of controversies.

Designers have long used their platforms to send out tough-to-swallow messages, be it political or socio-cultural, but sometimes the risks they take backfire.

Over the last couple of years, several fashion and beauty brands have found themselves on the receiving end of severe backlash after their attempts to push the boundaries went too far.

In the first two months of 2019 alone, two brands, Gucci and Katy Perry Collections, have already been criticized for selling controversial pieces that evoked blackface.

Gucci

Now, another popular fashion house has dug themselves into a hole after debuting a hoodie with a noose around the neck during London Fashion Week.

Burberry is being called out for being insensitive and racist as well as for romanticizing suicide, especially during a time when suicide rates across the world are on the rise.

Among those who criticized the brand on social media was model Liz Kennedy, who took part in the show but did not wear the hoodie.

"Suicide is not fashion," Kennedy wrote on Instagram. "It is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway."

She added, "Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either. There are hundreds of ways to tie a rope and they chose to tie it like a noose completely ignoring the fact that it was hanging around a neck."

Kennedy, who has previously gone "through an experience with suicide in her family," explained that she brought up her concerns to those in charge but was told that "it's fashion" and that "nobody cares about what's going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself."

She reminded her followers that she's not speaking out because she's upset, but to point out to the "bigger picture here of what fashion turns a blind eye to or does to gain publicity."

She added that while she's not trying to disrespect Burberry or its designer, Ricardo Tisci, she's "ashamed to be a part of the show" and wanted to express her feelings about an issue she feels "very passionate about."

Burberry has since issued an apology and pulled the questionable sweatshirt from its collection.

"I am so deeply sorry for the distress that has been caused as a result of one of the pieces in my show on Sunday," Tisci said.

"While the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive. It was never my intention to upset anyone. It does not reflect my values nor Burberry's and we have removed it from the collection. I will make sure that this does not happen again."

In a separate statement to CNN, Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, echoed Tisci's words and also revealed that he has been in contact with Kennedy to apologize after he was made aware of the situation.

What do you think of this fiasco? Let us know in the comments!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.